by Paul Pillar Last week I commented on the unhelpful habit of throwing everything Islamist, no matter how extreme or moderate, into a single conceptual bucket and writing off the whole lot as incorrigible adversaries. That habit entails a gross misunderstanding of events and conflicts in the Middle East, and has the more specific harm of aiding
by Sam Badger and Giorgio Cafiero*
The three-year old Syrian crisis presents dire dilemmas for Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and in refugee camps across the Middle East. Given Syria’s traditional role as a sponsor of Palestinian resistance movements and a home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, Palestinian leaders are understandably torn [...]
by Aurélie Daher
As the Syrian uprising against the Baathist regime enters its fourth year, it is clear, given the changing balance of power on the ground, that predictions about the imminent collapse of the Assad dynasty, which constituted conventional wisdom from 2011-12, are far from the mark. Once derided [...]
by Aurélie M. Daher
In Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God, Matthew Levitt, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and a former senior U.S. counter-terrorism official, attempts to illustrate the threat posed to the West or its friends by Hezbollah, whose commitment [...]
by Jim Lobe
The front-page article by Jodi Rudoren about Israel’s “Castle Strategy” in Sunday’s New York Times offers yet one more example — and right in the opening paragraph — of why the Kirk-Menendez “Wag the Dog” Act of 2013 is so dangerous to the security of the United [...]
by Wayne White
The reverberations of the desperate war inside Syria have increasingly radiated outward. In addition to the massive Syrian refugee exodus, Lebanon and Iraq in particular have been impacted adversely by heightened instability and violence. Yet actions associated with both have only increased their vulnerability. By contrast, the Turks [...]
By Robert E. Hunter
The devil is in the details. This cliché is already being invoked regarding the deal concluded this past weekend between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, along with the European Union’s High Representative, Baroness Ashton.
Devil and details, [...]
by Thomas W. Lippman
A dozen or so of your basic Washington types—lobbyists, consultants, think-tankers — were talking with a U.S. senator the other day about the linkages between energy, foreign policy, and national security. The conversation would not have gone down well in Riyadh.
by Thomas W. Lippman
Shortly after President Obama’s startling telephone conversation with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Saudi Arabian journalist wrote that “The phone call between Obama and Rouhani shocked the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and other countries.” No matter which president initiated the call, he wrote, “What is important to know is what stands [...]
by Alireza Nader
Iran has mixed feelings and conflicting interests in the Syrian crisis. Tehran has a strategic interest in opposing chemical weapons due to its own horrific experience during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For years, President Saddam Hussein’s military used chemical weapons that killed thousands of Iranian soldiers. So [...]
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